The following is a media release from Sen. Ed Markey and Sen Elizabeth Warren’s offices. Both were elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. Both are Democrats.
WASHINGTON DC – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today, June 10 called on U.S. Senate leadership to provide resources and assistance to support the Massachusetts clean energy industry and its workforce in any upcoming coronavirus relief packages.
In March and April, the clean energy sector lost nearly 600,000 jobs nationally, erasing more than twice as many jobs than it had created in the past three years. Massachusetts has been especially hard hit, losing nearly 19,000 clean energy jobs over those two months, including more than half of the solar energy workforce.
Through the end of 2020, the state is likely to lose two-thirds of its planned solar projects.
“The clean energy sector helps states such as Massachusetts reduce greenhouse gas emissions, achieve important public health goals, and employ workers who contribute to economic growth,” write Senators Markey and Warren in their letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). “The industry and its workers need our help and support, which could take the form of clean energy tax benefits, energy efficiency programs, grid infrastructure funding, or other workforce support. As Congress continues to work on future COVID-19 relief legislation, we urge you to include provisions that support the workers of the clean energy sector.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
In their letter, Senators Markey and Warren note that Massachusetts electric distribution companies report that, due to the effects of the pandemic, they will likely have to slow down or halt efforts to connect solar and other distributed generation to the electric grid, potentially slowing efforts to reduce carbon pollution emissions.
And if Congress does not help the industry, it could lose around a quarter of its work force nationally — 850,000 jobs — or more by the end of June.